Have you ever said this to yourself or anyone else: “I like it when the topic of health (or clean water or whatever your product or service is) comes up naturally in conversation. I feel confident and relaxed and everything goes really well.”
That’s me all over. When I can be totally myself, and when things just “come up naturally,” then I have a good time. I get to listen well, ask questions, and really be with the person.
When I joined the direct sales industry, it was because of a real joy about the products I represented, and a natural confidence that I could pass along the message about what was possible. I had passion, authenticity, and cheerfulness, and I consistently shared those things with people as I introduced them to my company and its products.
Over time, people liked and trusted me, and I had a pretty nice little business.
Then for some reason I began to think my way wasn’t the right way. I started copying other people’s ways of expressing and doing things, and suddenly I was selling, selling, selling. And I wasn’t feeling so good about things anymore.
Of course, this is all part of being a newbie, and we probably all go through similar rites of passage, but I’ve only just figured out what happened to me: I forgot that I was really the product I was selling. I needed to relax and enjoy myself again, to get real, to become a better person, to relate to people the way I do, to trust them, and to have them trust me.
When I got into “doing it right,” I got lost.
This light bulb went off yesterday when I was reading a story told by Napoleon Hill in his Law of Success (you need a wheelbarrow to lug it around. So get one of those or buy a Kindle. Great book).
Hill had asked one of his stenographers to type the motto “Remember that your only limitation is the one you set up in your own mind.” She typed it up and then told him, “Your motto has given me an idea that’s going to be of value to both you and me.”
He told her he was glad to have been of service and thought no more about it … until he noticed she’d begun coming in early and leaving late, cheerfully and efficiently doing things that she was neither paid for nor expected to do, including studying Hill’s style and answering some of his many letters for him.
When his personal secretary moved on, Hill turned to the young woman who’d taken the initiative to already be his secretary, because “On her own time, after hours, and without additional pay, she’d prepared herself for the best position on my staff.”
But that’s not all. This person soon became so valuable in her work community that she started getting great offers from people outside Napoleon Hill’s office.
And he knew he had to pay her a lot more to keep her: “I have increased her salary many times and she now receives four times what she earned when she first went to work for me as a stenographer. And to tell you the truth, I am helpless in the matter because she has made herself so valuable to me that I cannot get along without her.”
So what does this have to do with being a successful sales rep or entrepreneur?
It wasn’t just the doing of these extra things that made Hill pay her four times as much (plenty of people had come early and stayed late before). He was also paying for her initiative, her cheerful execution of a plan, her consistency, her intention to make both their lives better, and her leadership.
He was paying her─and without hesitation─for being who she was. And people will do the same thing with you, even when they’re cutting back on other things. They will choose you and your products over many other choices simply because you’ve consistently shown up, been yourself, listened well, and tried to make their lives better.
This is trust. This is attraction marketing at its best.
Obviously there are many more things to learn about being a successful business person. But this one is at the heart of it all. Make your very own trusted self indispensable to people. You won’t get lost like I did, and your business will grow.